The UnitedHealthcare subsidiary that's simultaneously selling health insurance coverage while building a network of clinics in two large cities has dropped plans to expand to the Miami area for 2017.
Harken Health made "a strategic decision to maintain a keen focus on our current markets of Atlanta and Chicago," said Jeff Shoemate, the company's chief marketing officer, in a statement.
"Harken believes people in South Florida could benefit greatly from our innovative model, and we look forward to offering access to those services as part of future expansion," Shoemate said, without specifying a timeline.
Based in Minnetonka, Harken Health offers free primary care at company-owned clinics where members also receive at no charge certain wellness services like tai chi. It's focused on the individual market, including customers on new government health insurance exchanges.
Growth on the exchanges has made for an interesting contrast with Minnetonka-based UnitedHealthcare, which is retreating from the exchange markets in 31 states following financial losses.
In a May regulatory filing, Harken Health said about 33,000 people were enrolled in the company's health plans by the end of the first quarter. The insurer started selling coverage Jan. 1 and collected about two-thirds of its $30.6 million in first-quarter premium revenue in Illinois.
Coverage from Harken Health is available only in or near counties where the company operates its health centers.
UnitedHealthcare is the nation's largest health insurer.